How Listening to Feedback Can Make You Successful

by Positive Hustle

You cannot improve without feedback. No matter what kind of success you try to pursue, you will face problems, make mistakes and failures on the journey.

Luckily, there is feedback to help you adjust and recalibrate so that you can get back onto the right path.

Think about taking an airplane from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Do you know that the plane is out of its flight path most of the time? And the navigation system has to constantly recalculate and readjust the plane to keep the plane on the right path.

It is the same in life.

As you make progress in completing a project or are working on your goal, you will receive feedback – data, direction, suggestion, criticism, etc.

And your ability to accept feedback and improve as you go along is one of the most important factors that will determine your success.

I want to share with you an interesting story I learned from Jack Canfield, the best-selling author of The Success Principles. In the book, Jack shared how Wendy Stehling made $100,000 in just 3 months because she listened to feedback and improved from there…

She Asked Her Way to Success in 3 Short Months

One of the best-selling weight-loss books ever published was the book Thin Thighs in 30 Days.

What’s so interesting about it, though, is that it was developed solely using feedback. The author, Wendy Stehling, worked in an advertising agency but hated her job. She wanted to start her own agency but didn’t have the money to do so. She knew she would need about $100,000, so she began asking, “What’s the quickest way to raise $100,000?”

Sell a book, said the feedback.

She decided if she wrote a book that could sell 100,000 copies in 90 days—and she made $1 per book—she would raise the $100,000 she needed. But what kind of book would 100,000 people want? “Well, what are the best-selling books in America?” she asked.

“Weight loss books”, said the feedback.

“Yes, but how would I distinguish myself as an expert?” she asked.

Ask other women, said the feedback.

So, she went out to the marketplace and asked, “If you could lose weight in only one part of your body, what part would you choose?” The overwhelming response from women was My thighs.

“When would you want to lose it?” she asked.

Around April or May, in time for swimsuit season, said the feedback.

So, what did she do? She wrote a book called Thin Thighs in 30 Days and released it on April 15. By June, she had her $100,000—all because she asked people what they wanted and responded to the feedback by giving it to them.

The 2 Types of Feedback You Should Learn From

When you take action, you will receive feedback. And no matter what kind of feedback you get, it can be categorized into these 2 types:

Positive feedback – praise, compliments, results, success, victory, win, gold medal, becoming a champion, sales, money, etc.

Negative feedback – pain, loneliness, lack of result, failure, mistakes, getting passed for a promotion, not getting a raise, criticism, anger, disapproval, poor evaluation, loss of money/capital, etc.

Of the 2 types of feedback, we prefer to receive the positive ones than the negative ones. This is because nobody likes to listen to criticism and is told that he or she is wrong.

But if you look at it, negative feedback is the most valuable because it tells you what is wrong and where you need to change or adjust.

When you receive a pay raise, you feel happy, and you celebrate your success. So, you continue to do what you have been doing because that’s what get you the pay raise.

But when you receive negative feedback like you lost your money in an investment because you don’t do your due diligence, the incident teaches you a lesson to become a better investor by doing your homework before you invest.

Of course, you must be willing to accept the feedback in order for you to learn the lesson and improve.

If you don’t listen to the feedback and continue to invest without doing any research, in the future, you will still make the same mistake and lost your money because of your poor financial decision.

The 3 Ways How You Can Respond to Feedback

By now, you should know that feedback is important for you to make an improvement and live a better life. Because if you don’t listen to feedback, you will never get to know what went wrong.

And you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.

There are 3 ways how most people respond to feedback…

1. Do Nothing

Some people just won’t change anything even when others give them feedback. I once attended a seminar from Harv Eker, and I learned these words:

“You can be right, or you can be rich.”

The problem with most people is that they choose to be right rather than being rich and successful.

When something is not working for you, perhaps, you should slow down, listen to the feedback, look at where you are, and then make an adjustment to your life.

If you choose to do nothing, nothing will change.

2. Repeat and Do the Same Thing

This is what most people will do – they take action, but when they don’t get the result they want, they will put in more effort with the same strategy, and hope that they will receive a different result.

That’s insanity. You can’t do the same thing and expect a different outcome.

Of course, there are times when you need to do something more than once to create the success you want. But if after a couple of times doing and you still don’t get the result you want, you need to change your strategy.

Most people will just do the same thing over and over again. And then they wonder why they are not getting the result they want. Which eventually, leads them into giving up on their projects or goals.

Never let this happens to you. When you take action but you don’t get the outcome you want, try the third approach…

3. Change the Strategy and Try Again

When you try something but it doesn’t work, the most obvious solution is to try something different until you get the result you want.

Sadly, most people seem to NOT do this. They seem to be afraid to do something different or uncomfortable doing something that they have not used to.

Here’s a great quote from Alexander Den Heijer:

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

So, change your strategies when things don’t work out for you. When you take action but are not getting the outcome you desire, change your strategy, improve your plan, adjust your direction so that you will reach your destination.

Consider the Source of the Feedback

When we talk about listening to feedback for success, there is one thing you need to understand – the source of the feedback.

This is important because you don’t want to be receiving feedback that doesn’t work.

For example, if your friend is drunk and he is telling you your face looks like a horse, should you listen to the feedback?

No, not at all. He is drunk, hence, the source of the feedback may not be accurate. However, the fact that you are going out with a bunch of drunk friends is the feedback you should listen to.

Just like when you enter a pet shop and a parrot greets you by saying you’re stupid, should you get angry at the bird? No, because it is not a credible source of feedback.

The same goes when it comes to investing in the stock market. Should you listen to advice from credible people, or should you listen to someone who has never invested in the stock market before?

The answer is obvious, you should listen to credible people, not just anyone. But most people choose to listen to their friends or neighbors who have no knowledge in investing.

So, before you accept the feedback and make changes to your plan, make sure the source of the feedback is accurate.


Listen to your feedback. They are important for you to achieve the results and success you want. Without feedback, you can’t improve. And without improvement, you won’t achieve the success you desire.

I strongly suggest you read Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, learn the principles, then turn your life into a masterpiece.

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